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Grateful Dead Live at West High Auditorium on 1980-06-21

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Grateful Dead Live at West High Auditorium on 1980-06-21

Topics Live concert

Sugaree-> Minglewood Blues, Candyman, Me & My Uncle-> Big River, Loser, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, Far From Me, Ramble On Rose, Feel Like A Stranger Big Railroad Blues, Samson & Delilah, Terrapin Station-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> Truckin'-> Stella Blue-> Sugar Magnolia, E:One More Saturday Night-> E: Brokedown Palace

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue West High Auditorium
Location Anchorage, AK

Source Soundboard
Lineage Master Soundboard Cassette > Reel To Reel > DAT> CDR; Secondary Source:Master Audience Cassette; AKG 414 mics source
Taped by
Transferred by


Sources:Primary Source:Master Soundboard Cassette > Reel To Reel > DAT> CDR; Secondary Source:Master Audience Cassette; AKG 414 mics source supplies the
"Announcements/Intro"(d1t01), the first 0:49 of "Sugaree" (d1t02),from 4:44 thru 5:27 of "Loser"(d1t08),the first 2:03 of
"Big Railroad Blues" (d2t04), as well as from 4:24 thru 5:50 of "Drums" (d3t03)
Patching/CD Mastering & shn'ed by Scott Clugston; To fungus and abgd via Charlie Connor


Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2015
Subject: Baked Alaska - Rare HG

I came back to this show because the Sugaree was mentioned and it's said to be the best show of the only-ever Alaska run, as well as one of the best of '80. Thing is, there are a ton of great '80 shows and even runs - particularly since that's the year of the magical 3-set, 15-day Warfield and 8-day Radio City runs, plus others (OTTOMH; 11/30, 10/13&15, 5/6,7&8, 5/15&16, 9/2,3&4, 11/28,29&30; I like parts of 6/7&8 as well). As for Dick's #8, I like this better overall because it has a better first set (but I don't favor late 60s & '70 because the catalog is so limited).

I had a tape of this show that was so low-gen AUD I never listened all the way though. Rectified that! This was the farthest north they played (but not farthest west - that would be Honolulu 1/23&24/70). It would seem weird playing at a High School in '80 but this is actually a regional events auditorium that holds a couple thousand. A 3-dayer, this show's the best of the run (albeit all have highlights). Though I wasn't at this show I've been there on the Solstice when you have a few hours dusk until the sun circles around you and pops up again. It's perfectly trippy, fo sho, and I can picture the scene, what with the colors, the sweet smells in the air, and these sweet renditions surrounding (infiltrating) everybody's heads!

That's a funny story (below) about the taper that didn't want the tape to "get around". I knew some real flaky tapers back in the 80s who were overly-concerned with who "gets to listen to the Dead" and who does not, like it makes your tape sound better if no one else hears the show or something. They wanted to have a little control over the band - anathema to the idea of trading in the first place. I never did figure it out except that these fellows were on a long strange ego trip and weren't on the bus but rather on the trailer the bus was pulling (and it was a flatbed).

First Set. The Sugaree is oft-listed because Jer comes at it from a different angle and because he takes a couple extra measures. It's just fine - but I wouldn't put it in the top 5 of '80 (12/28/79 was the best of the year surrounding this date and 6/13 the best of the month). Plucking one bent note repeatedly is in every guitarist's bag but just not in Jerry's wheelhouse. For Minglewood ("these Alaska girls"), Jer lays a smoker in an otherwise clunky rendition. At this point the set stratos. Candyman is a completely strong version. They're way warmed-up for Me & My Uncle. Check how Jer keeps soloing into the next verse and gets a great fat tone, using more gain/overdrive than he usually did after '73. Going into Big River, he starts soloing immediately, leaving the band to keep up. It's reminiscent of 8/13/75. Loser is fucking nailed. For Lazy Lightning/Supplication, Jer's intense on the 16ths, machine-gun-attacking like he's angry with the song, and '80 was the year for great stand-alones of Feel Like a Stranger.

Second Set. Not as whip-fire as the first, the second set still has some highs, Samson for example, with Jer still right on top of it. Snap! Terrapin is just average ("sane stradows from the flames"), however there's a nice tranny into Playin'. But who's fucking around like a frat boy on the mic during Space? That and Truckin' mark the low point ("Chicago, New York, Alaska it's all the same street"). The rest is well-executed with interesting choices, with Sugar Mag having some neat, crashing chords/riffs/tones. "Juneau, where yr girlfriend's from?". "I dunno Al aska".

1st Set:  A-
2nd Set: C
Overall = 4 Stars HG (hidden gem!)

Candyman - This is how you do it
Me & My Uncle - Hear Jer when he gets busy
Big River - It's almost exhausting to take this ride
Loser - Up there with 2/3/78 and 12/29/77
Lazy Lightning/Supplication - Better when it's this intense
Feel Like a Stranger - just about a perfect '80 version
Samson & Delilah - Jer is spitfire

SOURCES: There are so many sources! I guess because Alaska on a Solstice is a curiosity? There are two matrices (including a Hunter Seamons) a Bertha (not good), a Jim Wise, and a Samaritano. But the Miller (miller.113302) is the only one that plays at the correct pitch. It's a huge improvement , with all the patches perfectly blended. Amazing job here, Charlie!

BTW - On the other reviews, calling Anchorage folks "Eskimos" (a perjorative term to some) is like assuming attendees at Canadian shows were all First Nations. Not all native Alaskans are of the Eskimo nation (Yupik and Inupiat) and very few that are even live in the city-of-Anchorage region (if any natives even went to the Dead shows). Just sayin'.

Note: excellent review by kochman (on miller.113302)!
Reviewer: kenai666 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 20, 2015
Subject: Grateful Dead Live at West High Auditorium
This was NOT by any means a "best ever show" nor is it "late '60's or early '70's, like Dick's Picks!!" It's Alaska... 1980! A one time affair. Don't know if you are familiar with the West High auditorium... this was quite a treat for us!
I have only seen 171 other shows for comparison, but this run remains one of the most satisfying for me.

Reviewer: rbmunkin - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 20, 2015
Subject: Not bad, not great
I have to admit I'm a bit stunned at all the "best ever" talk. 10 star show? Superlative Sugaree? Really? All I can think is that these reviews are from people who aren't too familiar with their really great stuff. Compared to Jerry at the top of his form, this is him taking a nap. I'm not saying it sucks; just saying it can't even come anywhere near to "best ever" or 10 stars. Seriously, get some shows from the late '60's and early '70's, like Dick's Picks Volume 8 for example, and really LISTEN to it. If you love this, that will blow the top of your head off.
Reviewer: robmyaeg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 10, 2009
Subject: 10 star show!
********** 10 star show! Great audio and fantastic playing.
Reviewer: JerryInaPouch - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 3, 2009
I usually don't rate songs, but I'm listening to the NON AUD version but if I try to type a review it will stop the song and I won't HAvE IT! :)

go get this one:

ANYWAYS, as far as "best 'eveaaaaaa'..."??? I don't know about that, but Jerry must be enjoying his Persian tonight, because this Sugaree is off the F**KING CHARTS!!!!!!!

As far as the rest of the show I can't say much EXCEPT:

1) Best of the three show Alaska run (and the ONLY time the dead played in Alaska!)


2) Go find "Dr Flashback" and OBEY his reviews- this man knows his stuff. Every show he rates as top 10 is a SHOULD HEAR and every show he rates as a top FIVE is a MUST HEAR! Just...check `em out.

I haven't listened to the whole show (YET) but Sugaree (minus the annoying AUD patch in the beginning,) is FOR THE AGES. Aside from that... classic.

Since it's all subjective and I RARELY hand out FIVE STARS (an exception to that rule is Pauley Pavilion (sp?) 1973- a TRUE five star show. This one? 3.8 so I round it to 4.... the Loser is UP THERE (not BEST EVER) but, hey, four stars is an ACCURATE review of this show and that's being slightly generous. I don't dish out 5 stars like candy... it isn't fair to the NEW HEADS trying to discern all this crap.

So four stars it is. A desert island show? Certainly NOT! But worthy of your attention? Definitely! Now go check out the SBD version (unless you're an AUD freak,) but either way the Sugaree picks up nicely between the 9 and 10 minute mark... I don't know, just check this sucka' out!


Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 28, 2008
Subject: Great Show
I concur with the other reviewers. This is an outstanding show. I just love Jerry so much here its hard to put into words.
Reviewer: Darrylizer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2008
Subject: Great show
i had this on my iPod for weeks when I went hiking and/or walking around the city. Great for walking in the woods or rambling around art museums, I gotta say. Excellent Sugaree, Terrapin, Playing among others. For whatever reason this show resonated with me a lot more than other shows from this good year for the Dead. Brent breathed new life into the band and his playing on this show is excellent. Jerry really pushes himself, lots of fast noodles on Lazy Lightning. He's sometimes off but he's reaching and you gotta love that. The rest of the guys play throughout with a lot of sympathy. Nobody is particularly on fire, they're just really melding well together. They make this great music sound easy. There's an organic flow to the tunes that really works for me. Especially on Terrepin Station and Playing In The Band which are among the best versions the band has ever done.
Reviewer: Avacado Shag - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2008
Subject: geez
about that stella blue...
What's not to like?
Reviewer: TyFenn - - February 24, 2008
Subject: the 3rd night...
Mang, epic Sugaree, gnarly Minglewood, so far the best of the three night, by far. Satisfactory Loser, very solid, if not great, Lazy Lightning-Supplication. Far from me, Brent does a great job but not my favorite song so I only listened to the beginning - Brent has some range.

Fantastic Sugar Mag.
Reviewer: dead-head_Monte - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 24, 2007
Subject: a gem for the ages
This show is fantastic. I'm a die hard deadhead from '73. I saw them about 25 times in the northeast back then. If you like them from then, now listen to Sugaree, and Stella Blue from this show. What a terrific surprise from the band. This show is a one of a kind, as far as I can tell. The sound is unique. The whole concert is excellent. This one is on my hard drive. (Maybe I should listen to them more in this era.)
Reviewer: Daddy D - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2007
Subject: Good show
This was indeed a good show, but sorry, no where near 5 stars. No doubt it must have been a peak 5 star experience if you were one of the lucky few fortunate enough to personally attend this show, but unfortunately that magic can't be duplicated or experienced via a recording. Several previous reviewers have mentioned some of the show's highlights, but interestingly, though many on this site have no reservations about slamming Donna, no one mentioned Brent's Far From Me, which was actually painful to listen to. For the most part I really liked Brent (OK, so he wasn't Keith, but still . . .) but I'm sorry--all of his songs sounded out of place when played by the Dead. They would have sounded better (and probably been more appreciated) if played by a band like Journey or something. Just my $0.02.
Reviewer: Bird Creek, Alaska - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2007
Subject: High at West High
One of my favorites. This show is no joke. I never knew the 80's were this good.

Thank you.
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 10, 2007
Subject: Heueisen??Still in Juneau?? I miss ya' man!!!
ALASKA/DEAD!! The most transcendental land for the most transcendental of bands! ALASKA, summer solstice, LIVE DEAD, 1980! If no magic is gonna come out of that mix....well, IT DOES!
This show always had a spot amongst my most valuable Maxells!! The SBD copy I had for years was always one of my best quality recordings and to me, one of their most unique shows---as much as the Egypt's, to me, PERSONALLY. If you have ever traveled through Alaska and the Yukon, extensively (especially in 1980!!) then you realize the stage that it is for so many unique,uncommon, natural wonders...for those NIT-PICKING this show in relation to their memories of how much better the RR Blues or Big River was in Nassau 1980 or whatever other generic, big city, 5 star EAST COAST venue---YOU ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE!!Great music!
Reviewer: philphanatic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2006
Subject: great setlist
oh my god i cant stress enoguh how awesoem this show is. if i had to make a list of the best shows. its tough to do. its impossible to do. but this show is simple. its the best one ive ever heard. theres just so many sounboards out there and i love that. but this show is just the best one ive ever heard number one. five stars. please please please listen to this show,. its ON FIRE. im gonna say it once more, this show is unfuckingbelievably awesome

so much here sounds great though. great setlist, and 1980 was such a great year.

as usual, the archive puts a smile on my face, i cant be thankful enough for the sbs provided by the dead.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2006
Subject: Jerry on a role
Jerry delivers fiery solos in Minglewood, and does some interesting quiet-but-fast soloing on Lazy Lighting. A nice Terrapin, followed by a spacey (and interesting) Playing in the Band.

The final encore is Brokedown Palace, rare for this time. Between 1974 and 1979, they had only played it a dozen times (according to DeadBase). They started playing it with more frequency in the summer of 1980. This one is a good performance, complete with strong harmonies.
Reviewer: Kstyle - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2006
Subject: 'Til the sun comes up...or goes down...??
Wish I'd seen this one, and then walked out at midnight into the sun...please, someone who was there tell us how it was! Summer solstice in Alaska...oh baby, they sure could pick 'em.
Truly a classic show from the boys, all sorts of highlights, some wild moments in the Loser solo (sidenote: listen to how different that sounds on all the versions here...faskinatin'), nice LL/Supp, Terrapin, Playin'...but as for the best Sugaree ever, Lake Placid has to take the cake...10/17/83...if you haven't heard it, get
VERY ready and then crank it...Jer at his peak.
Speaking of peaking, sounds like the boys were all on various adventures this night in or two extra bears up there this night.
Just another great old Dead show....god bless the good old!!!!!!
This is the best web site imaginable.
Reviewer: aces back to back - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 28, 2006
Subject: great show
Reviewer: Enlightened Deadhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2006
Subject: ....was just a dream
Impressive show - garcia emotional power very present.
Reviewer: ohkeepa19564 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 16, 2006
Subject: One of my favorite shows ever
This is one of my favorite shows ever. The Playin' is more trippy than usual and the Terrapin rocks, maybe the finest I've ever heard. The whale space is also interesting. Stella blue is spectacular and the guitar solo is absolute perfection. I don't understand why this hasn't been released commercially.
Reviewer: gratefuly deadicated - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 31, 2005
Reviewer: Mr Bendo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 22, 2005
Subject: Best supplication ever
I remember the first time I heard this, the guy who gave me the recording gave it to me on the condition that I "not let it get around" since it was a "private recording." Maybe thats what built the suspense up for me. The recording I got was a little fast but years later after I slowed it down to a proper speed, the Lazy Lightning/Supplication was still BLISTERING!

Everytime I hear all of the little notes sprinkling thru the solo It validates my opinion of Jerry as one of the great guitar players ever. When I stumbled onto this archive, this was the first thing I went after. This is the BEST Supplication ever (so far anyway...I haven't heard them all but I have heard many.) I remember the first time I played this for my good friend Larry R (Where are you these days Larry?) He was floored. I got exicted watching him be amazed. this is a must have show just for the LL/S.
The Sugaree as noted by others is one of the better ones I have heard. The Stranger is also a real treat.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2005
Subject: Good
There are some great cuts from this RR Blues, and some hot licks in Sugaree, LL>Supp but there are other shows from '80 far more deserving of 5 like Gainesville, Rochester, Glens Falls, Hartford, Third night of Nassau, etc. I never thought these shows reached the steller heights they could have and got this tape in '81.
Reviewer: hyperboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2005
Subject: Great quality...great show!
The playing and the sound balance gets better as the show goes on. This is just an all around great show! 1980 was a strong year for the boys.

Stereo separation sounds great here!
Reviewer: MarkStar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 3, 2005
Subject: Wow!
No one had mentioned this in previous reviews, but the Playin' is amazing. Jerry is simply on fire. The noodles are plentiful (hit and miss because he's playing so damn fast) and his tone is melting. Not quite as insane as 11-30-80, but damn good.
Reviewer: onthebus - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 14, 2005
Subject: The SPACE on the inside of the sugar cube
OK, I agree, this show is must have, its really really really mindblowingly good, that being said I must add that the space jam has a section where someone is clearly flying with Aurora borealis, or maybe transcending there...moaning into the mike, sounds like Bobby tripping out, almost as good as the frozen logger in '85...a gazzillion degrees below zero, and we were tripping out.
Reviewer: Deep Space - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 1, 2005
Subject: Sounds great
but what do the other versions of this fantastic show sound like..?

I see a Bertha remaster and another link to another version (Gans..?) but I can't access it through the LLama..

Anyone know why
Reviewer: RedWingDeadHead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 22, 2004
Subject: Alaska 1980
I like all three shows, but this is THE ONE! Sugaree is incredible and the boys never let the energy drop. This is a MUST have show.
Reviewer: Hoyt Pollard - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2004
Subject: Excellent show
A few flaws in the recording but a great performance.

"Chicago, New York, Alaska it's all on the same street"
Reviewer: big bang - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 9, 2004
Subject: Spectacular
This show is unbelieveable. The band is really tight and on fire. What an outpouring from Jerry, both instrumentally and vocally. I can't believe I lived without this show.
Reviewer: Hogg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2004
Subject: Sugaree Rulz!!!
Top three Sugarees' of all time...epic.
Reviewer: Hogg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2004
Subject: Sugaree Rulz!!!
Top three Sugarees' of all time...epic.
Reviewer: DeadDave - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2004
Subject: Outstanding
Incredible, beautiful, under-rated.
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